Additional funding is available for the Seniors Alert Scheme in Meath West following an upsurge in applications nationally for the free personalised alarms for people over 65, local Minister for Housing and Urban Development Damien English T.D. has said. He is urging local older people to sign up and avail of the funding.
The objective of the Seniors Alert Scheme is to encourage community support for vulnerable older people in our communities through the provision of personal monitored alarms to enable older persons, of limited means, to continue to live securely in their homes with confidence, independence and peace of mind.
Minister English’s colleague, the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, initially allocated €2.3 million for the Seniors Alert Scheme in October. The rate of applications for personal alarms quadrupled nationally in November after Minister Ring widened the eligibility criteria for the scheme and launched a nationwide publicity campaign, leading the Minister to also allocate an additional €400,000.
Minister English, the Fine Gael T.D. for Meath West said “It’s very positive to see a good uptake for this scheme nationally, but we need to see more older people in Counties Meath and Westmeath be made aware of it and to avail of this important scheme.
“We need to make sure that as many of our older people avail of this scheme as possible, which is why I am encouraging everyone reading this to get the word out there as widely as possible.
“All you have to do is make contact with your local Seniors Alert group. You can find out about your local group by logging on to http://www.pobal.ie or phoning 01 5117222.
“The community groups that are supporting its delivery are providing a valuable service and deserve great credit.
“This measure exists with the support of local voluntary groups and if users feel in danger or require immediate assistance they can activate the device which will alert designated members of their community who can then assist them.
“There is free personal monitoring of the alarm for the first 12 months after which the person pays a small fee. This measure contributes greatly to the safety and wellbeing of senior citizens in their homes.
“This funding for Meath West seniors demonstrates this Government’s commitment to the safety of older people in our community,” the Minister for Housing and Urban Development said.
“The best New Year’s resolution you can make is to get an older relative or neighbour to sign up for free a personalised alarm, or help them to do so.
“I want to urge people to keep an eye on their elderly neighbours at this time of year. The Winter months can be a challenging time for some older people. Small gestures can make a big difference for someone who is living alone. Reaching out to an older person in your community can help brighten up their New Year, whether it’s popping in for a chat, or lighting the fire or bringing someone some food.”